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Black Ships Before Troy:
The Story of the Iliad
Black Ships Before Troy cover.jpg
Front cover of first edition
Author Rosemary Sutcliff
Illustrator Alan Lee
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Children's novel, supernatural fiction, Greek mythology
Publisher Frances Lincoln
Publication date
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 128 pp
ISBN 978-0-7112-0778-3
OCLC 59341355
LC Class BL793.T7 S88 1993
Followed by The Wanderings of Odysseus 

Black Ships Before Troy: The story of the Iliad is a novel for children written by Rosemary Sutcliff, illustrated by Alan Lee, and published (posthumously) by Frances Lincoln in 1993. Partly based on the Iliad, the book retells the story of the Trojan War, from the birth of Paris to the building of the Trojan Horse. For his part Lee won the annual Kate Greenaway Medal from the Library Association, recognizing the year's best children's book illustration by a British subject.


Sutcliff's retelling of Homer's Odyssey story was also illustrated by Alan Lee and published by Frances Lincoln in a companion edition, The Wanderings of Odysseus: The story of the Odyssey (1995, ).

Kirkus praised both Sutcliff's text, for preserving "a certain formality of language" and for graceful "winnowing", and Lee's "spectacular paintings": "Beautiful and detailed ... the pictures are obviously the result of careful research and reward close scrutiny. A gorgeous book, more than worthy of its predecessor." It suggested the book for ages 10 and up.

  • —immediately, contemporary US reprint
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